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Robert W. Baker


1923 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Robert W. Baker Obituary
Robert W. Baker or Tod as everyone called him passed away on November 3rd, 2013 at the age of 90. He was born in Lima, Ohio, the youngest child of Donald and Lillian Baker. After his dad died when he was seven, he, his sister and mother moved to Colorado Springs to live with his aunt, Beatrice Williams. He and his family moved to Denver where he attended Smiley Middle School and East High School, graduating in 1940. He attended the University of Denver until Pearl Harbor Day, when he joined the army. During World War II he commanded a platoon of Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) soldiers on the islands of Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa. Their job was to gather intelligence, talk the Japanese out of the caves (encourage surrender) and capture enemy personnel for interrogation. They moved into several infantry commands - the 27th, 77th, 96th. Today his team would be called a special-forces group. Seventeen minutes in Saipan forever altered the course of his life when he survived the largest banzai charge of the war. Though Tod rarely spoke of his experience during World War II to his family and friends, he was very proud of his service. After the war he again attended University of Denver for his undergraduate and law degrees. He and Janet Lewis were married in 1965 and recently celebrated their 48th anniversary. Their marriage resulted in the birth of two sons and one daughter. Tod built a thriving criminal and civil law practice after the war. He was an ardent advocate for the people he represented. He had the knack of taking the fear out of court proceedings. His proudest professional accomplishment was to be appointed as a municipal judge in Greenwood Village. He enjoyed his judgeship for 24 years. He approached all aspects of his life with enthusiasm, integrity, humor, loyalty, and offered joy and comfort to family, friends and clients. He had many close and long time friends. He was the person you wanted on your side. Tod enjoyed life and his family. There were many years of lively family discussions with his children. Ever the consummate lawyer, whenever he was asked a question he would respond with a question, to the consternation of the family. His children appreciate the practical wisdom gained from his cross-examinations that carry through to this day. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in school activities and sports. As a Bronco season ticketholder, he had a tumultuous relationship with the team, especially with coaches and quarterbacks. His contrarian comments and vociferous humor made for lively conversations with family and friends. He will be greatly missed by his wife Jan, son Tod, daughter-in-law Lara, grandchildren Audrey and Sam of Castle Pines, son Bart of Park City, Utah, daughter Gwen (Conner) and son-in-law Brian of Walsenburg, Colorado, brother-in-law Barton Lewis and sister-in-law Diane Lewis and their children Brian, Valerie, Bill, and Suzie of Woodstock, Illinois, nephew Todd Mansfield and wife Kathy of Charlotte, North Carolina, niece Julie Mansfield of Denver, Colorado, nephew Rick Mansfield and nephew Geoff Mansfield. Services will be held at Christ Episcopal Church (2950 S. University Blvd) on Saturday, November 9 at 10:30AM. Interment ceremony will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery at 10:15AM on Tuesday, November 12. Donations may be made to The Rocky Mountain MS Center (www.mscenter.org) in memory of Robert "Tod" Baker.
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Published in Denver Post from Nov. 6 to Nov. 8, 2013
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